CBD Oil for Dogs: Affordable, Natural Anxiety Relief
As an owner looking for a solution to canine anxiety, more likely than not CBD oil for dogs has popped up in your research or been recommended to you by a friend. In fact, this natural remedy has probably come across your newsfeed for a number of reasons, both animal and human, and the variety of options available expands daily.
What is canine anxiety?
- Dog anxiety is considered a form of behavioral problem; the result of fear and apprehension, just as in people. There are a number of different symptoms that can present when a dog is under this type of stress, but each canine is different, and symptoms can range from yawning and lip licking to restlessness and destruction.
- According to the latest research from University of Helsinki in Finland, as many as 70 percent of dogs exhibit some symptoms of anxiety, whether from separation issues, sound sensitivities, fear of other dogs, fear of strangers, or other individual triggers. For many of these dogs, this may prove too much for their owners, resulting in relinquishment at a local shelter.
- CBD oil for dogs offers owners a way to support behavioral modification with a natural calming agent, allowing dogs to work through their misgivings without the paralyzing effects of anxiety.
Before you turn to any natural remedy, including CBD oil for dogs, it’s important to understand what canine anxiety is and why natural treatments are a viable option.
As with any behavioral issue, medication is only a band-aid. The true root of the problem must be identified and addressed or the anxiety may never truly go away. Unfortunately, medications often become a mask for symptoms rather than a cure, and the most important part of addressing canine anxiety – behavior modification - goes unacknowledged.
CBD oil for dogs with anxiety
CBD oil for dogs, or cannabidiol oil for dogs, is a product made by extracting the phytochemical CBD from hemp or cannabis plants. The extract is then mixed with a carrier oil to be used to treat a variety of ailments or used as a preventative supplement. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it is not the same as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for the “high” associated with other cannabis products.
Most CBD on the current United States market comes from hemp, as hemp plants typically have higher concentrations of CBD compared to cannabis, making them much more viable from a business and production standpoint. There are also heavy regulations regarding the use of cannabis plants for any products intended for public consumers, steering manufacturers back toward hemp as the best option.
Regardless of which plant CBD oil for dogs comes from, its applications remain the same and according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) include:
- Pain Management
- Inflammation Reduction
- Cancer Therapy
- Allergy Treatment
- Arthritis Management
CBD oil for dogs is considered particularly useful for anxiety as early clinical studies suggest CBD binds to and activates serotonin receptors in the brain, triggering a mood-boosting effect and decreasing the severity of fear responses.
How to use CBD oil for dogs in conjunction with behavior therapy?
Using CBD oil for dogs is not the cure-all for anxiety-related behavioral issues. Instead, it is a tool to help aid the behavioral modification process, which involves re-programming your dog to certain stress and anxiety triggers. CBD oil can be administered, as directed by a veterinarian, before stressful events to help your dog come to realize things may not be as bad as they seem. Common moments may be:
- When leaving the dog home alone
- TravelingBoardingBefore thunderstorms
- Before fireworksBefore meeting new people or animals
- Before changing something in the environment
While CBD oil for dogs may help situations where you aren’t available to comfort your dog, the largest application for this natural treatment is to help train your dog to cope with situations down the road. This training, or behavior modification, often involves slow, calculated exposure to what the dog is fearful of, and the introduction of new habits for both dog and owner.If a dog has separation anxiety, for example, it may learn every time its owner picks up the car keys that means the dog will be left alone in a situation that makes it anxious. By administering CBD oil for dogs first, you can introduce picking up the keys while the dog is feeling calm, and then use that moment to set the keys back down and stay in the home. Over time, the goal is for the dog to learn that picking up the keys doesn’t always mean you are leaving the house and there is no need for an anxious reaction.
This type of re-training will allow you to decrease or eliminate the need of supportive medications because you are addressing the source of the fear, not just the symptom of it. What’s more, CBD oil for dogs often comes in treat form, making it an appealing part of the behavior modification process. Your dog is receiving a therapeutic benefit while being rewarded.
Important considerations about CBD oil for dogs
CBD oil is an emerging therapy in both the human and animal medical world, and as such, the revelations surrounding it are on-going. While there appears to be promising research in the field, there is much yet to learn about CBD oil for dogs, particularly around ideal dosages and efficacy thresholds.
Currently many veterinarians consider CBD oil a neutraceutical, or nutritional supplement, as opposed to a medication, particularly because it is available to many pet owners without a prescription.
This doesn’t mean you should keep CBD oil usage a secret from your veterinarian. Because CBD oil for dogs can interact with other medications, all pets should undergo a physical and evaluation before starting a supplement program.Remember, CBD can be an important addition to any natural anxiety treatment process.
Consider using this product to support other anxiety control methods, such as:
- Sound dampening (Leaving a television or radio on at home)
- Weighted vests (for a sense of security)
- Establishment of a “safe place” (A place your pet can call their own in the home)
Anxiety doesn’t have to swirl out of control for owners or for dogs. There are options, and CBD oil is proving to be a safe, effective means of bridging the therapy gap. Before you make that call to your local animal shelter or punish your dog for something beyond its control, consult with your veterinarian about CBD oil for dogs.
Written by: Mead Johnston
Mead is an experienced dog trainer, writer, and lover of animals. She has always been surrounded by animals and had a passion for learning more about them every day. This passion grew tremendously when Mead brought home a Great Pyrenees x Golden Retriever named Mac in 2018. Mead has continued to learn more about dogs whenever possible and wherever possible, while also helping so many wonderful clients. Her goal is help her clients and their dogs become confident in their daily lives. As a dog trainer, she often helps clients who are starting off with a puppy or they might have an older dog that is presenting challenging behaviours. Mead believes in the all-natural uses of Pet CBD to help our furry loved ones live longer, happier and healthier lives.